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Wasco wrestler becomes a two-time all American champion

Julieta Echeverria Aispuro is a senior at Wasco High School who has only been wrestling for two years. In that brief time, she has managed to make history at the Reno World Wrestling tournament.

"It was the state championships, and I was able to be the first girl from WHS ever to qualify."

She took 1st place and all American, competing against wrestlers from throughout the nation.

In addition to earning the Eagle trophy for her achievement at this competition, which is very hard to accomplish, she also has 11 medals.

She is a two-time South Sequoia League champion and runner-up at the Valley Championship. She took third at the masters in Morro Bay and made all-area first team this year against all of the Bakersfield schools.

"We never had a girl do that," coach Juan Gallardo said. "I'm very excited for her because it motivates the other girls on the team to do the same."

Aispuro said her experiences in wrestling challenge her, and she has had the opportunity to build close relationships with her other teammates.

"It's a fun time. You get to meet people and travel to other schools."

What started as a bet from her two brothers to join the team flourished into her decision to take up the sport. Since then, she has learned teamwork, time management, and leadership and developed a positive mentality knowing that she can achieve anything she puts her mind to.

She credits much of her success to her coaches, Joe Blanchard and Gallardo, and considers them father figures.

"They held me under their shoulders, encouraging me to try new things and make it big for myself and Wasco."

"They never gave up on me and tried their best to teach me different techniques. They knew before I did that I would succeed."

Her plans for the future are to attend Sacramento State University and join the wrestling team. She also plans to study to become an elementary school teacher.

Aispuro said the most significant thing that has come out of wrestling is making her best friend, Areli Solis, who is also on the team.

It's not about winning for her.

"It's about improving my skills and figuring out my mistakes so I can use those to learn outside of wrestling."

She lives by the motto her coach Gallardo instilled in her.

"On time is late, but early is on time."

She said there are advantages to being in a sport dominated by males.

"In practice, we wrestle with the guys. They are stronger and faster, but that enables me to be twice as stronger and faster as them."

She is a student-athlete.

"By doing wrestling, it keeps me on track with my homework and pushes me to be a better student."

Through wrestling, she has discovered that you can always succeed if you put your mind to it.

"Have a positive mindset, stay committed, and anything is possible."


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